Index

STATEMENT BY BRIGADIER GENERAL ROBERT M. FLANAGAN
DEPUTY COMMANDER,
II MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

    Distinguished Committee members, I am honored to be able to address and discuss our recent operational experiences encountered during Operation Allied Force (OAF) and its follow-on contingency operation "Joint Guardian" directed against Serbian forces earlier this year. It is a privilege for me to represent the interests of your Marine Corps and convey to you this day the importance we, as war-fighters, place on the "expeditionary and responsive" capabilities of the Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTF). USMC participation in Kosovo validated, once again, our ability to task organize from the Marine Expeditionary Force level down to a Special Purpose MAGTF while providing a responsive and credible warfighting capability in today's modern-day warfare. I am also here to report to you that we, the United States Marine Corps, clearly lived up to our pledge to this great nation to be ready and capable of deploying with minimal notice, and upon arrival in a contested theater of operations, be fully prepared to conduct combat operations. Our Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force upheld this doctrinal tenant and promise by achieving initial operational capability (IOC) within days of arrival into the EUCOM area of operations. They commenced combat flight operations in support of Joint Task Force Noble Anvil from Aviano, Italy within four days of arrival; and from Taszar, Hungary within six days of their arrival. Additionally, our AV-8Bs assigned to the forward deployed, 24th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units, Special Operations Capable, MEU(SOC), were also integrated in Kosovo operations early in the conflict.


Let me begin by providing you a brief summary of our deployments by aircraft type, so you can fully appreciate how expeditionary task organization ensured battlefield success, and how it exploited a critical vulnerability to Serbian forces through timely air strikes from F/A-18D Hornets launched from an airfield just forty miles north of the Serbian border. I will also provide you a perspective on lessons learned that will influence future operations.

EA-6B Prowlers

    From the execution of a deployment order on 17 February 1999 to the completion of OAF in June 1999, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Two (VMAQ-2) exemplified the Marine reputation as being the United States' 911 Force. Being "first in and last out," VMAQ-2 provided the only EA-6B electronic warfare capability present at the start of the operation, and supported the full 78 day air campaign with five aircraft. The second squadron, VMAQ-4 deployed with three aircraft and arrived after hostilities commenced and remained until hostilities ceased. VMAQ-1 redeployed with three aircraft from Incirlik, Turkey to Aviano, Italy and supported OAF for the first two weeks of the conflict until ordered to return to Turkey to continue support of Operation Northern Watch. During the course of the conflict, the EA-6B Prowlers had a 100% mission completion rate, flew 464 sorties and over 2,121 combat flight hours. The following is a synopsis of the major events and the factors that affected this squadron's extraordinary efforts.

    On 1 Oct 1998, VMAQ-2 assumed the status of the EA-6B squadron under the Prepare to Deploy Order (PTDO) in support of USCINCEUR. VMAQ-2 received the JCS deployment order on 17 February 1999 and arrived at Aviano AB, Italy on 21 February 1999 fully combat ready. Arriving ahead of the JCS's 96 hour requirement, VMAQ-2 demonstrated once again, the Marine Corps' rapid response to crises.

    Flying 464 combat sorties with an average of 8 EA-6B aircraft, the Prowlers were an integral part of all phases of the operation. Marine Prowlers were the only tactical electronic warfare aircraft participating for the first two days of the conflict.
High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) were employed by the EA-6B, primarily in pre-emptive strikes against known targets at known locations, supporting airborne strike packages. The locations of targets were determined from available intelligence sources. A total of 57 HARMs were expended from Marine EA-6Bs. Bomb damage assessment for HARM was difficult to accurately determine, and a "soft kill" from a "hard kill" could not be substantiated with certainty. The target sets ranged from SA-6 and SA-3 surface to air missiles to TPS-63 and TPS-70 type surveillance radars. Enemy radar was not routinely active, but would radiate during strikes by U.S. aircraft.
The Marine Corps' Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance Processing Evaluation System (TERPES) worked as advertised throughout the campaign. TERPES analysts were able to provide near real time ELINT and SIGINT to the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing, U.S. only databases, 11 NATO and U.S. squadrons and 6 higher joint and combined headquarters. This information was incorporated into regularly distributed (daily or weekly) intelligence material. In mid April a self-generated "Top 10" EW target list was provided daily by the VMAQ squadrons' S-2/TERPES analysts to the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC). As our information conduit became solidified, these targets were attacked with great success. The tally of USMC EA-6B TERPES derived targets destroyed included, 31 threat associated radars, 16 Early Warning/Ground Control Intercept Radars, and 10 Command, Control, and Communication nodes. In addition, the 31st AEW personnel and VMAQ Marines were able to work side-by-side with the USAF Combat Information System to ensure that pertinent data provided by the EA-6B was disseminated to higher headquarters.

EA-6Bs were incorporated into operations with low observable aircraft. Due to the Marine Prowlers presence during the build-up phase, they were briefed in and allowed to participate in these sensitive missions. As a result, every low observable aircraft mission conducted during OAF had dedicated Marine Prowler support.

Dedicated suppression of the Serbian air defenses was never completely accomplished. When the air campaign began, there was limited targeting of the Serbian Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). This lack of a Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) rollback campaign created an environment of concurrent SEAD with every mission, vice sequential SEAD at the campaign's outset. The Marine Corps doctrine of SEAD rollback in order to provide better Close Air Support (CAS) could not have easily been implemented in this situation. At the close of the campaign, only a handful of Serbian surface to air missile (SAM) sites and early warning radar networks had been destroyed. Consequently, bombing missions on day 70 were potentially as dangerous as missions on day one. Its effect on the low-density, high-demand (LDHD) Prowlers meant no decrease in electronic attack requirements throughout the 78 day air campaign. With the high operational tempo experienced in the EA-6B community, dedicated SEAD rollback would have allowed for a somewhat reduced EA-6B requirement during the latter phases of the conflict and allowed for more expeditious

EA-6B recovery efforts.

A significant Prowler capability that the Marine Corps needs to continue to exploit is communication jamming. The USQ-113 communication jammer system has been in development over the last several years, but only five USMC Prowlers were retrofitted with this system and of those, only two were available at the outset of OAF. Of the two systems initially available, only one was fully operational and it soon became inoperable due to lack of spare parts. VMAQ-1, which reinforced VMAQ-2 for the first two weeks of the conflict, had the only other working system in the Marine Corps, but needed to retain their USQ-113 system when ordered back to support Operation Northern Watch. We believe the USQ-113 will be fielded in all USMC EA-6Bs; however, delivery dates are presently unknown.

With most of the air campaign being fought at night, a shortfall identified to the overall operation was the EA-6B's lack of Night Vision Device (NVD) capability. The Prowler became a limiting factor in target prosecution for night missions. The lack of NVDs rendered the aircrew incapable of performing precise aircraft positioning through visual means at night and in some cases reduced their offensive effectiveness. I wish to thank you for the $31M in supplemental funding provided in the FY-00 Authorization Bill which corrects this deficiency.

Another issue of concern was the Prowler crew's loss of situational awareness. Because of the nature of its mission and emissions profile, the Prowler is sometimes out of contact with AWACS aircraft when conducting operations deep in enemy territory. This can also be attributed to aircraft systems that are dated and unable to perform reliably on today's high tech battlefield. The loss of situational awareness often placed the crews in high risk situations. Programs such as the new jam resistant LINK 16 Battlefield Management System, ARC-210 radios and air-to-air radar would have prevented these occurrences. With these systems installed, the Prowler crew will have increased situational awareness that will enhance their survivability in the chaos of air warfare. The Congressional plus-up of $30M in FY-00 for Link-16 RDT&E will allow us to immediately begin development of this important capability.

Aircrew survivability, in the event of a shoot-down, was also a concern for our Prowler crews. VMAQ-2 aircrews were not issued the latest survival radios (PRC-112) prior to arriving in theater due to a DOD wide shortage. The PRC-112 is a GPS equipped radio that can be directly attributed to the successful rescue of two downed aircrew during OAF. VMAQ-2 arranged for a temporary loan and the required training on these radios to ensure that aircrew were prepared for this contingency. We need to accelerate the fielding of the PRC-112 throughout DOD. We are working hard to overcome this shortfall and hope to have an adequate supply of the PRC-112 survival radio in the near future.

Aviation parts and re-supply were also issues from OAF. Marine Prowlers flew 464 combat missions, taking a toll on an already strained EA-6B airframe. During the 78-day air campaign, each Marine airframe averaged 95 hours per month with one aircraft flying 123 hours in one month. These numbers become significant when you consider that planned aircraft utilization rates during sustained operations are 36 hours per month and a much higher, wartime surge rate. This increase in aircraft flight hours directly impacts future EA-6B utilization, maintenance schedules, spare parts, and overall life cycle. Despite this high utilization rate, Marine Prowlers maintained a remarkable 100% mission completion rate.

To achieve this success, our parts supply system was drawn down to critically low levels. In addition to struggling for parts in Aviano, the lone Marine Corps CONUS based Prowler squadron was brought to a virtual standstill. The lack of spare parts dramatically reduced their ability to train and maintain aircrew proficiency. The supply system does not currently possess the necessary aviation parts nor manpower to support full time contingency operations and simultaneously support CONUS based units at normal rates. This affects our ability to execute simultaneous operations in two theaters.

Maintenance successes were only possible due to overwhelming support provided by the Navy and Marine Expanded Mission Mobile Maintenance Facility (EMMMF) and civilian technical representatives. Because of the aging airframes and diminishing experienced maintenance personnel available for Marine EA-6B squadrons, the use of civilian technical representatives was a necessity. These extremely knowledgeable technicians (some with 30 or more years experience) were indispensable during the operation to ensure that only full mission capable jets departed for combat. Annually, we must fight for funding for these individuals. This operation clearly proved their value to the warfighting effort.

Intelligence was another area of concern during OAF. The myriad Electronic Data Collection Agencies that exist today proved to be overwhelming and often confusing. The importance of real-time, accurate Electronic Battle Damage Assessment (EBDA) is vital to mission success, but is unavailable in a timely manner. The cumbersome, slow EBDA process made it difficult for Prowler aircrews to determine real time and accurate location of enemy air defense systems and inhibited crews from determining the success of HARM shots. The result was often redundancy in HARM attacks. We need to fund research for a common real time EBAA, DOD ELINT capability.
With ever increasing joint operations, we must continue to provide joint training opportunities. Specifically, we must stress the viability of SEAD rollback to create a more survivable environment and to reduce the reliance on long-term dedicated electronic warfare platforms to prosecute air war objectives. We must employ the concept of mass as required, but orchestrate a plan in which force requirements can be reduced to save our LDHD assets for major theater of war operational considerations.
In order to maintain our dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum and ensure we provide our aircrews with the most survivable platforms, funding must be dedicated to aircraft system and aircrew survival improvements. We must continue to pursue the fielding of ARC-210 radios to help crews maintain their communication on the modern battlefield, and an adequate number of PRC-112 survival radios. These off-the-shelf enhancements will provide the EA-6B with technology needed to be effective and to survive on today's sophisticated battlefield.

Greater emphasis must be placed on maintaining the readiness of our aircraft. We must sustain our investment in spare parts in order to support unexpected, highly intensive contingencies, as well as normal training requirements for these always in demand LDHD assets. We must also continue to fund and support the concept of civilian technical representatives and the EMMF.

Marine Prowlers are an essential combat-proven part of the joint force. They clearly demonstrated that electronic warfare and a dominance of the electro-magnetic spectrum are essential to successful air power projection. But our EA-6Bs are getting old, with the average age of our aircraft being 22 years old. With the improvements discussed above, we can operate this aircraft safely and effectively in today's battle space, but must consider a replacement platform for this vital mission. We learned from all phases of OAF. Now we must continue to rebuild and improve our capabilities to be prepared for our next call.


24 and 26 MEU(SOC) AV-8B Harriers

    Operation Allied Force saw participation by AV-8B Harrier II+ STOVL attack jets from the 24th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units operating from amphibious ships; USS Nassau and USS Kearsarge. The introduction of Marine Corps AV-8Bs was marked by several firsts: it was the first-ever pre-planned combat employment of MEU(SOC) embarked AV-8s, and was the first time AV-8Bs used Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) in combat, although the capability has been resident in the airframe since its introduction. Laser designation for AV-8B LGBs was provided by U.S. Air Force F-16s, marking the first time that "buddy lasing" by another fixed wing aircraft was employed for AV-8s. Operation Allied Force also marked the first combat use of CBU-99, cluster advanced munitions by the AV-8B aircraft. Additionally, the AV-8Bs embarked with the 24 MEU(SOC) and 26 MEU(SOC) were able to equal any of the other allied strike aircraft's "time on station." These aircraft were embarked aboard amphibious shipping in close proximity to Kosovo and did not require airborne refuelers to strike pre-planned targets - - again, validating the merits of forward deployed Naval forces and Operational Maneuver from the Sea.

    Due to the organic expeditionary maintenance and supply capabilities provided aboard amphibious shipping, the 24 MEU(SOC) AV-8Bs lost no sorties for maintenance availability; had no weapons release failures; no Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (DECM) failures, and no failures of its expendable countermeasures systems. During the 6-month deployment, 24 MEU(SOC) AV-8B aircraft readiness rates averaged 91.8% mission capable (MC), and 88% full mission capable (FMC), well above established DON standards.

The need for Laser Self-designation Capability (a "Targeting Pod") on the AV-8B was a recognized "lesson learned" following Desert Storm. Yet, the AV-8B remains the only TACAIR asset in the U.S. inventory without such a capability. The lack of this capability contributed to the delayed entry of the AV-8B into Operation Allied Force -- strike assets within minutes of Kosovo airspace but unable to participate because of Air Tasking Order (ATO) Special Instructions (SPIN) requirements for a self-designation capability. The Kosovo Supplemental Appropriation has provided limited funding for an initial buy ($16M for nine LITENING Pods), but additional funding is needed to field a capability sufficient for training and deployment across the entire fleet, $76M for an additional 47 systems.

At the onset of OAF, the Amphibious Ready Group supporting 24 MEU(SOC) held only 27 LGBs. In a high intensity conflict, the total numbers of PGMs available were insufficient to sustain combat operations. Although the AV-8B was one of only two platforms in the operation allowed to drop "iron" bombs on GPS coordinates, integration of the next generation PGMs, the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) needs to be incorporated in the AV-8. This weapon provides precision accuracy in virtually all weather conditions, and will preclude many of the weather cancellations that were a factor during combat operations in Kosovo. Additionally, this operation only reinforced sensitivities to collateral damage - - damage that is far more likely in urban environments, particularly when aircraft are primarily dropping large munitions from high altitude. We feel there is a requirement to invest in smaller precision and non-precision weapons (250-500 pound class) that have dual utility in both battlefield and urban environments, with less probability of collateral damage.

Our experience during OAF was that strike capability against time-critical or fleeting targets in a dynamic environment remains modest. We only scratched the surface of the sensor-to-shooter equation. As the military forges ahead to expand this capability, all USMC strike aircraft must have communications and datalink capabilities in order to be fully interoperable with Joint and Combined operations.

During OAF the ATO SPINs required all TACAIR assets to carry an electronic countermeasure capability against certain radar-guided surface-to-air missile threats. Aircraft without this capability were not authorized to participate "feet dry" over land. The AV-8B met this requirement with the ALQ-164 defensive Electronic Countermeasure (ECM) pod. However, this pod must be upgraded to meet emerging threats to include a self-protection countermeasure capability, and a capability against modern threats that we see delivered around the world today. The lack of an upgrade to the AV-8B ECM system can potentially limit its use in future combat, or jeopardize its survivability if committed in the scenarios we are likely to face in the next century.
Until recently the Air Combat Element of the MEU(SOC)s trained in live fire support at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, as did the AV-8B pilots of the 24 and 26 MEU(SOC)s flying in OAF. This opportunity gave those aircrew a significant and distinct advantage over aircrew who have been denied use of that training area.

KC-130 Hercules

The contributions of our aging KC-130 fleet cannot be overstated. II MEF forward deployed two KC-130s to Bari, Italy on 28 March 99 and redeployed them on 28 July 99. While deployed, they performed numerous air refueling missions in support of U.S. EA-6Bs, Spanish F/A-18s, Italian AV-8s, French Mirages, Jaguar aircraft, and U.K. Tornados- -refueling 196 aircraft and providing over million pounds of fuel. Additionally, they flew 578 flight hours and 230 sorties while delivering over 800,000 pounds of cargo and transporting 708 passengers. Further, Italian-based USMC KC-130s assisted in the deployment and redeployment of VMAQ-1 from Incirlik, Turkey to Aviano, Italy while CONUS-based KC-130s provided deployment and redeployment support to our EA-6Bs and F/A-18Ds as lead and trail maintenance, flights in support of deployed units providing replacement support for personnel, equipment, and aviation parts.

We are most grateful for the committee's support in replacing our aging KC-130 fleet with the newer and much more capable, KC-130J. The KC-130F/R aircraft currently in service are approaching 40 years of age and are the oldest aircraft in the Marine Corps' inventory. KC-130J aircraft are needed to replace aging KC-130F/R aircraft in the fleet to minimize a loss in tanker capability as these aging assets reach fatigue life. Additionally, replacement of these aircraft will avoid expensive modernization and service life extension programs.

New KC-130J aircraft are equipped with significant technological enhancements that will represent a dramatic increase in the overall efficiency and effectiveness of Marine KC-130 operations and reshape our thinking toward training, manning, and employment. In terms of warfighting, the potential to go faster (21% speed increase), farther (40% range increase), with more payload and with less external support, will directly benefit the combatant commander's flexibility and capability. They are faster, carry a greater payload, have upgraded communications and navigation systems and will be more reliable and easier to maintain.

F/A-18D Hornets

The deployment of MAG-31 (fwd) validated the criticality of this task-organized Special Purpose MAGTF to rapidly deploy into an austere, expeditionary environment. Our organic capabilities within the Marine Wing Support Squadron provided an ability to quickly establish and sustain airbase/ airfield operations and force protection; thereby, maximizing sortie generation.

The communications architecture and air traffic control to command and control Marine Air was provided from our Marine Air Control Group. This is a unique capability within the Marine Corps that makes Marine Aviation expeditionary and is not duplicated anywhere in DoD, in allied forces or potential adversaries. On 14 May 99, MAG-31 received the official deployment order for twenty-four F/A-18D aircraft to conduct combat operations from Taszar, Hungary against Serbian Forces. On the 20th of May, the Hornets launched from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina toward their deployed site. Two days later, the aircraft began arriving in Taszar. Four days after their arrival, MAG-31 (fwd) began required familiarization flights within Hungarian airspace, and fourteen days after initial notification to deploy, MAG-31(fwd) commenced combat operations in accordance with the Joint Task Force Noble Anvil, ATO. Their mission included Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, Defensive Counter Air, Reconnaissance and Armed Reconnaissance.

This deployment demonstrated the true measure of our expeditionary MAGTF capabilities. Units from the Second Marine Aircraft Wing deployed and performed quickly and professionally to establish USMC combat power in theater.

Their accomplishments included:
    - Deploying twenty-four combat aircraft, who departed MCAS Beaufort within a 4 hour     period and without any aborts.
- Establishing an airfield arrestment gear prior to the arrival of F/A-18D aircraft.
- Controlled USMC air operations with organic Air Traffic Controllers.
- Coordinating the critical timed-phased arrival of aviation support equipment, to include propositioned Norwegian Air Landed MAGTF equipment from Norway.
- Supervising and controlling the loading and unloading of NALMAGTF equipment off rail cars.
- Constructing an Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) for ground and aviation ordnance.
- Developing and employing a robust force protection capability.
- Moving over 800 Marines and multiple logistical support packages.
This deployment also re-emphasized the requirement for a self-contained, organic force protection capability. USMC military police from MWSS-273 assumed force protection responsibilities for perimeter security; security of the ASP; rapid reaction force requirements; flight line security; and entry and exit point control, all without incident during the deployment.

Additionally, it was evident Serb forces were caught off guard by our air strikes originating from the North. Unlike the heavy concentration of integrated air defenses (IAD) located in the South, the enemy surface-to-air threat against northerly attacks was virtually non-existent. Serb focus was clearly oriented toward the established southern and southwestern attack corridors NATO had been using prior to MAG-31(fwd)'s arrival into theater. Targets sets included POL storage, ammo supply installations, military barracks, military headquarters buildings, communications centers, and bridges. The ordnance expended consisted mostly of GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-16, a small number of Maverick missiles (laser guided), and some general-purpose bombs.

Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) was excellent due to the ability to provide surveillance of the target with the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS); very few re-attacks were required. This system was introduced into this operation to support its Operational Testing. ATARS provides a manned tactical reconnaissance system that permits collection of near real time multi-spectral (infrared, electro-optics, radar) imagery of targets actually under attack by the F/A-18 or reconnaissance of potential targets. Unlike wet film based products, this imagery can be enhanced and manipulated to fit the requirements of decision makers at all levels of the MAGTF. The high degree of system integration into the F/A-18D allows the aircrew to perform the critical manned reconnaissance mission while simultaneously supporting the MAGTF in other mission areas. Battle tested and combat proven, ATARS is a true force multiplier. In addition to the capabilities inherent in an F/A-18D squadron, an ATARS equipped unit provides the MAGTF Commander with the ability to see the area of operations, disseminate crucial imagery to decision makers, maintain the ability to rapidly respond to changing situation, and ultimately -- win! ATARS was requested and installed on two F/A-18Ds prior to deployment and proved extremely reliable. ATARS was used primarily during strikes for BDA assessment purposes. It was also used to hunt down known targets using known lat/long coordinates to procure imagery for use by the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC). The MEU(SOC)s used the ATARS imagery extensively. However, ATARS imagery was not utilized to its fullest extent due to the large data requirements needed to place imagery on the SIPRNET; LOCI was the system in use and could not handle the large volume of imagery data.
The aviation command and control structure was already established and, due to prior training and experience in the joint environment, our forces were able to essentially plug into the existing system.

The multi-tasking capability of the F/A-18D enabled a broad range of mission options for the JTF commander. Because the F/A-18Ds had to be prepared for multiple missions, it was challenging to match ordnance flow into theater for the first stages of combat. The time-phased flow of aviation support capability and ordnance was successful in supporting mission diversity until a suitable depth of ammo stores was achieved. However, we need to place continued emphasis on procuring additional precision weapons that can meet the JTF commanders guidance on reducing collateral damage. This justifies the need for a variety of PGMs, improved targeting systems, computers, GPS, and an adequate number of PGM training ranges within reach of our CONUS based units.

The current Non Combat Expenditure Allowance (NCEA) does not support modern day training requirements. For example, nine tenths of MAG-31(fwd)'s combat expenditure in Kosovo were PGMS, as directed by the JTF Commander, while the peacetime PGM allowances for FY99 was less than one half of one percent of the entire ordnance allowance.

Finally, this deployment again confirmed and demonstrated the utility of the Special Purpose MAGTF. The importance of time-phased anti-terrorism and force protection assets as early deployers, ensured that high value war-fighting assets had adequate protection prior to arrival in theater. The ability to quickly place combat power in the right place, at the right time, where the enemy least expected it, created a window of opportunity that allowed for successful engagement of enemy targets with reduced opposition.

Adequacy of the Kosovo Supplemental

    The $45.5 million in supplemental funding for contingency operations in Kosovo and Northern Iraq was sufficient to cover all associated costs and provided the means for II MEF and 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (2d MAW) to adequately fund the FY99 flight hour program. 2d MAW aircraft flew in excess of 6,000 flight hours in support of the Kosovo operations - - $26M of the supplemental was applied to fund the additional flight hours above the OP-20 baseline flight hours and related costs. Additionally, $19.5M was spent to replace on-hand stock shortages and refurbish the Fly-In-Support-Packages for the EA-6B and F/A-18D aircraft. Of the total $45.5M provided, over 90 percent of this funding was required to recoup expenses incurred in support of Kosovo contingency operations and the remaining 10 percent covered Operation Northern Watch requirements.

Your Marines of II MEF are highly motivated and superbly trained; through your continued support, the Marines and Sailors assigned to our Marine Air Ground Task Forces will remain ready and capable of meeting the challenges they will face throughout this uncertain world. I want to thank each of you for allowing me this opportunity to provide you an insight on Marine Corps experiences in Kosovo. I am prepared to answer any questions the committee may have.